La Pastorela 2022

¡Hola teatro familia! Teatro Vivo is proud to present La Pastorela 2022: An Interactive Theatre Experience! This year’s production of La Pastorela will be unlike any you have seen before! Join us as we center our comunidad, and uplift your gifts. This bilingual production opens with a welcome from our featured actor/facilitators, representing the shepherds, angeles, y diablitos. Actors will offer a history of the Pastorela tradition, and invite audiences to use their talents to create gifts to offer during the performance. Audiences will have a chance to participate in a dance, song, spoken word, or create a work of visual art. Audiences opting to observe are also welcome. This production will allow families and the community as a whole to let their talents shine, as they work collaboratively with whatever level of participation they are comfortable with. There will be plenty of humor and heart as we turn the lights on YOU, nuestra comunidad, and celebrate the warmth of the holidays as they were meant to be: together, juntos.

Dec 8, 9, 10 at 7PM

Dec 10, 11 at 2PM

Dec 15, 16, 17 at 7PM

Dec 17, 18 at 2PM


This project is supported in part by the Cultural Arts Division of the City of Austin Economic Development Department, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Texas Commission on the Arts.

Representation Matters SymposiumMexican American Youth and Arts Education

“Representation Matters is a multi-pronged project which seeks to offer a model of positive identity development of Latinx youth through the arts.” – Roxanne Schroeder-Arce, Associate Dean of Fine Arts Education (UTeach Fine Arts)

Young artists from across Texas will be represented, including performers and visual artists from AISD and Del Valle ISD. Additionally, workshops and performances will be presented by UT Austin faculty, staff and students, and partner community organizations.

Events will be held within the College of Fine Arts at the University of Texas at Austin, the AISD Performing Arts Center, and Teatro Vivo at the Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center.

This symposium is funded by the Alba Ortiz and James Yates Endowment in the Center for Mexican American Studies with support from the UTeach Fine Arts program, the College of Fine Arts, the Department of Theatre and DanceLLILAS Benson, the Austin Independent School District, the Indigenous Cultures Institute, and the Center for Educator Development in Fine Arts.

Schedule of Events (March 1-5 & May 14-16, 2022)

**Get your tickets for Saturday, May 14th HERE. It is a FREE, ticketed event.**

**CALL FOR ENTRIES: Virtual Youth Art Exhibit and Competition**

Young Mexican-American artists from across Texas are invited to submit original artwork. Click HERE for more information and to download the official entry form.

Ursula by Frida Espinosa-Müller

We are excited to collaborate with Cara Mia Theatre and present USRULA, written, directed, and performed by Frida Espinosa-Müller; original music composed by Armando Monsivais in Austin, TX. Ursula is supported in part through the Alba Ortiz and James Yates Endowment in the Center for Mexican American Studies and the “Representation Matters Symposium” on K-12 Arts and Mexican American Youth, organized by faculty and administrators across programs at UT Austin.

The production will be at the Mexican American Cultural Center in downtown Austin, TX.

Performance Dates
Public performances: Friday, March 4th at 7PM and Saturday, March 5th at 3PM
Daytime performances for schools: Tuesday-Friday, March 1st – March 4th at 10AM each performance.

Tickets (to purchase public performance tickets, click here)

Public Performances:
$15 General Admission
$20 Reserved Seating
$10 Student/Teacher/Artist/Veteran
Children 12 and under: Free

School Daytime Performances:
$6 per person (student/teacher/school staff)
To reserve daytime student performances, please email:

Photo by Morgana Wilborn // Photo Noire.

La Pastorela 2021

We’re back familia! Our winter show this December will be presented live in person at our home, the Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center in Austin TX. Directed by Carl Gonzales, Teatro Vivo’s 2021 La Pastorela is a celebration of the Austin BIPOC community. Set in the present time, this year’s production keeps all the lessons and humor of the well-loved, traditional Pastorela, with our favorite shepherds, angels and devils, but sets them here—with us—in our city. This year’s offering includes plenty of inspiring original and known music, under the direction of (and played live by) Eric Flores. Be sure to get your tickets early as there will be limited seating, ensuring social distancing for everyone’s safety. Also, please bring a canned good/ non-perishable food item to share with Jesus, Mary and Joseph (and Teatro Vivo will pass your gifts along to a local pantry). Commune with us to celebrate the season and one another at this warm and fun annual tradition created for you and your entire familia!

Tickets for La Pastorela are HERE!

Directed by Carl Gonzales

Dec 9, 10, 11 at 7PM

Dec 12 at 2PM

Dec 16, 17, 18 at 7PM

Dec 19 at 2PM

This project is supported in part by the Cultural Arts Division of the City of Austin Economic Development Department, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Texas Commission on the Arts.

¡A Viva Voz! “Scene Onscreen” with JoAnn and Rupert Reyes

Join LLILAS Benson for the 19th annual ¡A Viva Voz! Celebration of Latina/o Arts and Culture.

**This event will be broadcast via Zoom at this link:

Attendees should have an updated version of Zoom on their device for best results.

At this evening with Teatro Vivo founders JoAnn and Rupert Reyes, we will be treated to recordings of scenes from some of Rupert’s work as a playwright in archived performances by Teatro Vivo, the bilingual theater company that he and JoAnn founded in 2000. And even though we can’t be together as an audience, we hope the humor of plays such as Petra’s Pecado, Petra’s Cuento, Petra’s Sueño, Crossing the Río, Cuento Navideño, Cenicienta, and the forthcoming film Vecinos will bring us all a little closer together.

Our host for the evening will be Roxanne Schroeder-Arce, associate professor at the UT Austin Department of Theatre and Dance.

The JoAnn and Rupert Reyes Collection is part of the Benson’s archive.

Image based on design by Monica Rodriguez.

“Yana Wana’s Legend of the Bluebonnet” Virtual Tour Available for Booking!

CALLING ALL Educators, Administrators, Community Organizations, and Theater Organizations:

“Yana Wana’s Legend of the Bluebonnet” Virtual Tour is now available for booking!

Bring a showing of this Native-origin story about the first bluebonnets in Texas for families and young audiences to your community. The online performance package includes the 50-minute videotaped play, a 30-minute, live or recorded talk back with crew and cast and teacher’s resource guide.

Organizations and schools in the State of Texas may apply to the Texas Commission on the Arts (TCA) fund that may pay up to 50% of the fee to watch play online.

Promotional Trailer and Info page:

Booking form:

Booking Agent: Diana Guizado –

Conjunto Blues by Nicolas R. Valdez

Featured by Teatro Vivo and special collaboration with The Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center, Conjunto Blues by Nicolas R. Valdez premieres December 4th – December 6th, 2020!

Watch the TRAILER here!

Registration is FREE. You will receive a passcode to unlock the film and zoom links to attend the virtual events.

Written by: Nicolas R. Valdez
Directed by: Joel C. Settles
Guest Musicians: Luis Gonzalez, Joaquin “Muerte” Abrego, and Sarah Rocha
Set Design: Tomas Salas
Lighting Technician: Alex Casillas
Filmed by Jose Lozano, Magic Spoon Production Co.

Available for ON-DEMAND streaming beginning December 4th!

Teatro Vivo presents Conjunto Blues, a play that explores the social and historical conditions that led to the development of Conjunto music as an expression of cultural resistance and liberation. This one-person performance centers around playwright, actor, and musician Nicolás Valdez’s personal experience growing up in the Conjunto music scene and is loosely based on the relationship with his grandfather, himself a Conjunto music aficionado. Audiences are taken through a shifting landscape of memory and reflection that is highlighted throughout with traditional music performed live by Valdez and accompanied by musicians on Bajo Sexto (12 string Mexican guitar), Tololoche (upright bass), and drums. Filled with a cast of colorfully poignant characters, Conjunto Blues is a deeply personal performance for audiences of all ages and backgrounds that is sure to entertain and educate.

Following the opening night performance on Friday Dec. 4, Valdez along with Julian Arizola and Roxanne Schroeder-Arce, will host a question and answer session via Zoom where audience members will have a chance to discuss the production and ask questions about the show and Conjunto music in general. 

Special Workshop Presentation

In addition to the online presentation of Conjunto Blues, Valdez will also host an hour-long online workshop and discussion on Saturday, Dec. 5 at 2:00PM CST. 

Presented live online from Valdez’s home, the workshop will revolve around specific themes drawn from a series of pre-recorded interviews and historical documentary footage compiled by Valdez. These 2-3 minute video segments include topics revolving around Conjunto’s campesino origins; its stylistic evolutions; women and the recording industry; Pachucos and the nightlife; and include ethnographic interviews with prominent figures in the Conjunto Music scene. These mini-documentaries serve as a vehicle to untangle the complexity of Conjunto Music’s origins and evolution, as well as the long-term impacts on the Mexican-American community itself. Importantly, the accordion, while fundamental to Conjunto Music, has a parallel experience within other immigrant communities in this country connecting us across ethnicities and generations. The crux of this conversation will focus on how Conjunto Music, as an “original American ensemble,” parallels the evolution of the Mexican-American identity.

“The focus of this work, for me, has always been to highlight the many contributions of the Mexican-American community to the cultural fabric of this country,” says Nicolas Valdez, “and to show audiences how Conjunto Music, an original and uniquely American form of musical expression, became the soundtrack for the 20th century Mexican-American working-class experience.”

“Conjunto music defines our unique culture here in South Texas,” says Cristina Balli, Executive Director of the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center in San Antonio, TX. “We are proud to collaborate with Teatro Vivo in helping to bring Nicolas’ story to our audiences. Conjunto Blues resonates with Tejanos in a deep and meaningful way and people from all cultural backgrounds throughout Texas and the Southwest will definitely be moved by it.”     

Production History

Conjunto Blues made its World Premiere in April of 2013 in Denver, Colorado through the support of Su Teatro and by generous grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Performance Network. A tour of Arizona in the fall of 2015, through collaborations with Borderlands Theater, Performance in the Borderlands, the Center for Leadership and the University of Arizona culminated in a performance at the historic FOX Theater in downtown Tucson. The following year Conjunto Blues was presented at the Guadalupe Cultural Arts center as part of the 35th Annual Tejano Conjunto Festival. After a year of further development with fellow actor and director Ruben C. Gonzalez, Conjunto Blues participated in The Los Angeles Theater Company’s 2017 Encuentro de las Americas that featured three weeks of artistic exchange, cross-company co-creation, and presented performances, in repertory, for audiences in Los Angeles.

Watch the TRAILER here!

REGISTER HERE for Conjunto Blues events. Registration is FREE. You will receive a passcode to unlock the film and zoom links to attend the virtual events.

This project is generously made possible by the City of Austin, The Texas Commission on the Arts, and the National Endowment for the arts.

2021 Austin Latinx New Play Festival

Teatro Vivo is proud to present the 2021 Austin Latinx New Play Festival in collaboration with ScriptWorks.

The 2021 Austin Latinx New Play Festival (ALNPF), presented in collaboration with ScriptWorks, will take place on a digital platform May 13 to May 15, 2021.

The ALNPF provides an opportunity for playwrights to hear, see, and receive feedback on their original work. The festival brings each playwright together with a dramaturg, director, and actors to bring their play to life as a staged reading in front of an audience (online this year due to COVID).

Playwrights of the selected pieces will collaborate with a dramaturg and directors hired by Teatro Vivo and Scriptworks to work on their plays and then present them with a facilitated talk back on zoom with the audience immediately following the public reading.

2021 Austin Latinx New Play Festival Lineup:

Thursday, May 13th at 7 PM CST
Machine Learning” by Francisco Mendoza
Directed by Jesus Valles
Dramaturgy by Mateo Hernandez
Stage Managed by Savannah Gonzalez

Friday, May 14th at 7 PM CST
This Bitch: Esta Sangre Quiero” by Adrienne Dawes
Directed by: Daphnie Sicre
Dramaturgy by: Daniel Jáquez
Stage Managed by: Barbara Mojica

Saturday, May 15th at 3 PM CST
Have to Believe We Are Magic” by Sara Guerrero (young adult themes, some adult language and content)
Directed by: Si Mon’ Emmett 
Dramaturgy by: Melanie Claire Queponds
Stage Managed by: Sunshine Garrison

Saturday, May 15th at 7 PM CST
Los Pochos” by Herbert Siguenza
Directed by: Miguel Septién 
Dramaturgy by: Diamante Martinez
Stage Managed by: Marliza Mendez

This project is supported in part by the Cultural Arts Division of the City of Austin Economic Development Department, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Texas Commission on the Arts.

Cuento Navideño by Rupert Reyes

Cuento Navideño Written and Directed by Rupert Reyes, an on-line production
December 10th – 20th, 2020

Performance Streaming Date and Times:
DEC. 10, 11, 12, 17, 18, 19 @ 7PM
DEC. 13, 20 @ 2PM
DEC. 10 will be FREE, hosted by the MACC, livestreamed here:

For tickets, click here!

Following every performance, Teatro Vivo will host a live discussion with members of the Cuento Navideño company, hosted by Ben Bazán. The discussions are free and will go live immediately following each performance. All talk-backs will be live on zoom at this link:

Teatro Vivo returns with the 2020 virtual production of Cuento Navideño: Bah Humbug in the Barrio, a bilingual holiday comedy Dec. 10 -20.

Teatro Vivo gives the gift of laughter once again this holiday season. This year’s production brings back the beloved characters from the 2012 production and offers some new surprises! Written and directed by Rupert Reyes and inspired by Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, Cuento Navideño (A Christmas Story) takes place on Christmas Eve in a modern, urban Latino community. Evangelina Cruz is the Latina version of Ebenezer Scrooge. She is a selfish businesswoman who has lost touch with her culture, her family and connection to her community. An unexpected visit from the ghost of her former business partner, the once equally-greedy Teodora, sets Evangelina on a journey to look closely at her choices.

This festive bilingual comedy infuses Latino culture, Spanish language, and Latino holiday traditions in a show to be enjoyed by the whole Austin familia.

Virtual Performances are Dec. 10-20 2020; Thursdays-Saturdays at 7 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m.


Yvonne Cortez Flores was recently nominated in the category, Outstanding Actress in Theatre for Youth, for her 2019 performance as Abuela in Yana Wana’s Legend of the Blue Bonnet by Teatro Vivo and Indigenous Cultures Institute.  She has been so thankful to Rupert and Joann Reyes for giving her so many opportunities to act on stage. As well, many thanks to current acting comadre, Mary Alice Carnes, who gave Yvonne her first shot at a professional theatre production with My Visits with MGM (My Grandmother Martha) in 2000. Teatro Vivo is a true family indeed. Gracias for all you do!

Rupert Reyes is an Austin playwright and Founding Artistic Director of Teatro Vivo.   The B. Iden Payne Theater Awards committee has nominated his plays for best new scripts and he has received several acting nominations as well. His collaboration with ZACH Theater and Glass Half Full Tjheater, Cenicienta, was awarded Best New Play in 2015 by the Critics Table Awards and is set to be performed at the Kennedy Center in April 2021.  Vecinos, Love Thy Neighbor, a feature film adaptation of his stage play, Vecinos, has been completed and is looking for distribution.  Thanks to the wonderful cast, crew and my wife, JoAnn.

Ben Bazan, a graudate of the University of Texas is currently Athletic Director and Theater Guide at Acton Academy.  He has appeared in previous Teatro Vivo productions.  Including JJ’s Arcade in collaboration with Zach Theater.  He wishes the cast and crew his best and it has been a great honor and pleasure to be part of this cast.  He also wishes everyone a Feliz Navidad!

Angela Tolle está muy excited to be playing Amelia in Cuento Navidad! Her love of acting was renewed in 2017 as a performer in Teatro Vivo’s Austin New Latino Play Festival. Since then she has enjoyed performing in two more ANLPF readings and also being on stage for the Teatro Vivo productions of “Sangre de un Angel” and “La Pastorela”. Angela wishes everyone una Feliz Navidad and dedicates her performance to her mom who is watching from up above.

Mary Alice Carnes is excited to be with Teatro Vivo again on Cuento Navideño. She has worked with Austin and regional companies and playwrights including Raul Garza, Rupert Reyes, Roxanne Schroeder-Arce, and Dolores J. Diaz, Different Stages, Zilker Theatre Productions, Austin Gilbert and Sullivan Society, Austin Musical Theater/Broadway Texas, and Austin Shakespeare. She was honored to participate in the National New Play Network Showcase of New Plays in Sharon Walker’s The Madres in 2016 and its national rolling premiere with Shrewd Productions in 2018. Mary Alice has directed new works at FronteraFest, including Route 307 by Rupert Reyes (Best of the Week, 2011), Rosetta by Candyce Rusk (Best of the Fest and Best of the Week, 2004), and 2018’s Atacama by Augusto Federico Amador for Teatro Vivo’s Austin Latino New Play Festival.

FRIDAY, DEC 18 @ 7 PM/TALKBACK FOLLOWING – Santos and Celeste Palacios
Celeste Palacios enjoys reading, listening to music and singing in her middle school choir. Celeste is delighted to perform in Cuentos Navideños, and most of all to return to the Teatro Vivo Family! In 2019, she played Astucia in La Pastorela. The summers prior to that Celeste has been in Broadway Bound where she played in Aladdin as a narrator (2016), in Peter Pan as Wendy (2017), in 42nd Street as a singer (2018), and in Bye Bye Birdie as Kim McAfee (2019). 

Santos Palacios enjoys swimming, playing basketball, singing and drawing. Santos has performed in his elementary school’s shows. His first time on stage was with Teatro Vivo‘s La Pastorela, playing Mingo in 2019. He is blessed to have the continued cariño and guidance of this company and its talented cast and crew as he performs as Diego in Cuentos Navideños.

SATURDAY, DEC 19 @ 7 PM/TALKBACK FOLLOWING – Genevieve Schroeder-Arce
Genevieve Schroeder-Arce is a 14 year old freshman at LASA High School. Her acting credits include the role of “Young Teresa” in USA Network’s ​Queen of the South​. She has also participated in several productions with Teatro Vivo, including “Maria” in ​Yana Wana’s Legend of the Bluebonnet​, in collaboration with Indigenous Cultures Institute, “Alyssa” in ​Sangre de un Angel​, and “Cucharita” in ​La Pastorela​. Genevieve has also performed with UT Austin and Austin Shakespeare and loves to workshop new plays. She is thrilled to be in ​Cuento Navideño​ this year with Teatro Vivo! Genevieve plans to study pre-med in college.

SUNDAY, DEC 20 @ 2PM/TALKBACK FOLLOWING – Anya Villa Reyes and Amelia Reyes
Anya Reyes Villa first appeared with Teatro Vivo in their first show, Petra’s Cuento in 2000.  She was also in the second production of Cuento Navideño at the Rollins Theater at the Long Center.  She continues to be involved in theater and has produced her own events, her last being Hecha me un Ojo. She wants to thank her loving husband, Mario for his support and gives a shout out to the newest family member, Yuli Jo.  Break a leg everyone!

Amelia Reyes first appeared in Cuento Navideño in 2011.  It was also her stage debut at age 14 months.  She has appeared most recently in La Pastorela  in 2019.  She loves to sing and hopes to one day have her own You Tube channel.  She hopes to continue doing theater, especially musical theater in the future.  Special thanks to her Mom, Anya, her dad Mario, and her new little sister, Yuli. I will also be there for you!  Thank you to all the cast and crew for making this a great experience.  Merrry Christmas y Feliz Navidad!

This project is funded and supported in part by the City of Austin through the Cultural Arts Division. This project is also funded and supported in part by a grant from the Texas Commission on the Arts and the City of Austin through the Cultural Arts Division, believing an investment in the Arts is an investment in Austin’s future; visit

Señora Tortuga by Roxanne Schroeder-Arce

Señora Tortuga by Roxanne Schroeder-Arce

Teatro Vivo is a sponsor of this production. December 5th, 2020

Texas Performing Arts welcomes you to a family-friendly performance of Señora Tortuga performed by San Antonio’s The Magik Theatre on Saturday, December 5 under the Texas Big Top on the Bass Concert Hall Plaza.

Written by UT’s Roxanne Schroeder-Arce, Señora Tortuga is a celebration of the confluence of two cultures and languages. This English/Spanish bilingual play uses the wisdom tales of Latin American cultures to give hope to a family faced with too much reality.

Young Pedro and his family make their home in a barn on the Mexican border. Pedro complains of having nothing and brings his mother many headaches. On one occasion, she invites a hungry woman to share the family dinner. But this Señora returns time and again to eat and tell fantastical stories of the enchanted serpent and Cucuy of Latin American legend, filling Pedro’s nights with heroic, yet frightening dreams. Surprisingly, Pedro is learning from these wisdom tales, but his mother is suspicious of the Señora until it is revealed that Señora Tortuga holds the thread that ties their past dreams to their future.

Capacity is strictly limited, masks are required, and tickets will be sold in socially distanced “pods” of 2 seats for $20 per pod, 4 seats for $30 per pod, and 6 seats for $40 per pod. Everyone needs a ticket to enter.


Sponsored by Marquee Event Rentals, H-E-B Tournament of Champions, and the University of Texas Department of Mexican American and Latina/o Studies

COVID-19 Health and Safety Information and Guidelines

What to expect:

  • Everyone (2 years and older) must wear a face mask covering their nose and mouth while in our event spaces. Face masks may only be removed in your pod while consuming food and beverage. TPA will provide face masks for anyone who does not have one.
  • Our outdoor tent capacity is limited and tickets are sold in small, medium, and large pods. There will be a minimum of 6 foot spacing between each pod of seats.
  • Social distancing markers will be placed at the venue entry.
  • All tickets will be sold online at and be delivered via email for mobile contactless entry.
  • Sanitization stations will be available at all entrances, under the tent, and inside the Bass Concert Hall restrooms.
  • Food and beverages will not be offered for sale at this event. We encourage you to bring snacks and beverages for your family (no glass) and you may only remove your mask to consume your food and beverage while in your designated seating pod.
  • Restrooms will be available in the Bass Concert Hall lobby.

To keep our community safe, we ask that:

  • You conscientiously practice social distancing, frequently wash hands, use hand sanitizer, and wear a face covering as required.
  • If you are not feeling well or have been in close contact with someone you suspect may be infected, please stay home and contact your doctor. You may contact the Ticket Office at 512.471.1444 or by your performance time to request a credit.
  • Be prepared to scan your mobile tickets at our free-standing pedestal ticket scanners.
  • At the end of the performance, please listen for timed exit instructions.
  • If the performance is postponed or canceled, ticketholders will be offered a choice of refund, a credit for future use, or the opportunity to donate the value of the tickets to Texas Performing Arts.